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From the heart: Students volunteer as part of Others Day

Photo by Nate McCullough

Photo by Nate McCullough

COVINGTON -- Some students were thinking about others this week.

As part of Woodlee's Christian Academy's annual Others Day, students wearing Others Day T-shirts and ready to work visited several Newton, Rockdale and surrounding county organizations to perform some needed tasks Wednesday morning.

"We send children out in the community to do things and they don't expect anything in return except the love they get back," said Lee Gilmon, fundraiser coordinator and parent volunteer at the school.

This year, students in kindergarten through 12th grades visited organizations like Newton County's Rainbow House homeless shelter and the Community Food Pantry, Jasper County Animal Control, Solid Rock Baptist Church in Covington and Azalea Gardens assisted living facility in Conyers.

Students spent the day organizing food and clothing, playing bingo with elderly residents, cleaning floors and yards and entertaining residents.

"It makes people's lives better," third-grader Avanne Elliott said.

Gilmon said the experience also helps the students realize how lucky they are to have things.

"My son went to Rainbow House last year, and before that, he was always 'I want, I want, I want,'" Gilmon said. "He saw people who had nothing but the clothes on their back, and now he's not like that anymore."

Even students who are not old enough to ride the buses, those in prekindergarten classes at Woodlee's, participated in the event. The pre-K and kindergarten students made gift baskets filled with candy, artwork and positive messages for cancer patients.

"It gives students a chance to be of service and to give back to the community," said Bobby Fleck, principal at the school. "We're a Christian school, so we're giving out the love God has given us and sharing that with people. Year after year, it's such a meaningful thing for students, kind of instilling the idea that the world is bigger than one person. We are a community and are connected, and the kids can give back -- even their simple little hands can make a big impact."